Before delivering the Sermon on the Mount on the eastern continent and His similar sermon to the Nephites, the Savior stated that what He was about to say pertained to certain people. Those to whom He spoke were individuals who were willing to believe in His words, "come down into the depths of humility and be baptized" so that they could be "visited with fire and with the Holy Ghost," and could "receive a remission of their sins." (3 Ne. 12:2; also Matt. 5:3-4 of the Inspired Version.)
In A Companion to Your Study of the Book of Mormon, Daniel H. Ludlow noted that most Christians have a misconception as to the meaning of the Sermon on the Mount. "They assume that this sermon was meant either for the whole world or for only the chosen disciples. However, the Book of Mormon and the Inspired Version of the Bible indicate that the major parts of this sermon were intended for all those who were willing to accept Christ and keep His commandments."Ludlow pointed out that the Beatitudes in the Book of Mormon are listed in the same order as those in the New Testament. However, some significant differences of wording should be noted:
- Each Beatitude in the Book of Mormon begins with a conjunction that relates it to the previous Beatitude and helps to relate all of the Beatitudes to the introductory statement of the Savior.
- The Beatitude that reads in the New Testament "Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" is clarified in the Book of Mormon: "Yea, blessed are the poor in spirit who come unto me, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." (3 Ne. 12:3; italics added.)
- The Beatitude that reads in the New Testament "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled" is clarified in the Book of Mormon: "And blessed are all they who do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled with the Holy Ghost." (3 Ne. 12:6; italics added.)
- The Beatitude in the New Testament that reads "Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" has been clarified in the Book of Mormon: "And blessed are all they who are persecuted for my name's sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." (3 Ne. 12:10; italics added.)